It seems this blog is collecting some dust – much like most of the hard surfaces in our home right now. Not surprisingly, the introduction of a newborn into our little cocoon has massively changed the amount of time I have to do anything. I have to strategically plan when I can wash my hair each week (2-3 times max a week), so setting aside an hour to blog has been near impossible, or at least not at the top of my priority list. When I visit my RSS feed during 3am nursing sessions and see frequent posts from other new moms – especially those who have multiple children – I am completely flabbergasted as to when they find time to blog.
I started this post NINE days ago, and the following paragraphs followed a similar theme as the preceding post — finding it hard to manage concurrently being a mom, wife and individual. It’s not that I had a fantasy notion of what maternity leave and newborn parenting would be like; I wasn’t totally naive to the lack of sleep and demanding schedule. Nonetheless, I was still trying to figure out how to let go of my unrealistic expectations for my recovery and transition into motherhood.
And in the nine days that lapsed between that draft and this post, I actually did start letting go.
Case in point: I found myself in Target two days ago, steering my cart through the cleaning supplies aisle with a quiet but awake baby in the basket, sipping on my Starbucks coffee and feeling totally in control. I wasn’t panicked about the baby being awake or how I was going to get all the groceries inside the house. I knew I’d figure it out and I did. Small victory.
In another instance, two weeks ago I was pretty freaked out about the 10K that I signed up for 10 weeks postpartum. Despite running through my second trimester, having an uncomplicated delivery, and resuming light exercise 4 weeks after delivery, I was not progressing in my return to running as I hoped. I found it challenging to exercise Monday-Friday, and I was frustrated with how hard it felt – even at a markedly slower pace. But I allowed myself to let go of the notion that I could sail through 6.2 miles and accepted that I’d likely cross the finish line having completed several walking intervals. And when I did cross the finish line on Saturday, I was happy to finish feeling confident and strong – no matter that my average pace was a minute slower than pre-baby days.
In a similar notion to the above, I’m working to reset my expectations about how quickly and easily I’ll return to pre-baby body — if that is ever actually going to happen in earnest. I’m not sure when my pre-pregnancy jeans will fit without a muffin top or when my mid-section will lose its squishiness, but it’s obviously not going to happen as fast as I dreamed. The numbers on the scale haven’t moved for weeks, which was getting increasingly frustrating. But I have to cut myself some slack. I’m operating on no more than six broken hours of sleep a night, I don’t have much time for exercise, and I tend to eat whatever I can easily get my hands on during the baby’s 45 minute naps. Getting my body back is just going to have to wait.
I tweeted this a few days ago, and it’s so true:
I will fire up my work laptop in just a few days and add one more juggling ball to this act. I’ve got two overnight trips already booked for April, and I anticipate I’ll be hitting the ground at full sprint. I’m neither dreading nor excited about the return, most likely because I’ll be working from home while we have a temporary nanny looking after the baby. I’ll have the best of both worlds – time for myself and my career with a healthy dose of cuddles from the baby when possible. Now, if I can only figure out when I’ll get that shower in the schedule, we’ll be golden.